Just Married

A seemingly normal day in Marie’s life takes an abrupt turn for the worse when her hair gets stuck in the kitchen sink disposal and instead of finishing the dishes, she ends up fighting for her life.

Director’s Statement

I am first and foremost a cinematographer. It’s my bread and butter as well as my passion. My love for images is rooted deeply in my love for storytelling. I have a lot of appreciation and admiration for the directors I work with on both my commercial and narrative projects, but I never quite felt the need to step away from the camera to tell my version of the story. That said, I’ve always played with the idea to make something of my own. A project that has no client input – something that is both true to my visual style and somehow manages to push my comfort levels at the same time. About two years ago, my roommate at the time (Chris Condon) and I decided to put one of those loose ideas on paper. A few months ago, the timing was finally right and I decided to make Just Married. I am lucky enough to have gathered a supportive group of friends here in LA over the years and the EPs at Virgin Soil Pictures (Malcolm Duncan) and Kite Rock Pictures (Fabien Colas) decided to help out and put together this project in only two weeks and on a minuscule budget.

We knew we had to shoot out everything in just one weekend, which meant carefully squeezing 90 shots into two short days at 115-degree heat without compromising the creative intent behind making this. I wanted to do something that was creatively challenging, and not just logistically tough. Luckily, the support from my crew was incredible. I am still astonished by how many people decided to donate their time and resources to make this happen, from the free Digital Sputnik lights to a friend’s paintings used in shot.

We shot the entire project on my Alexa Mini package with Cooke S4i lenses generously provided by my brilliant operator Chris Kistan. I wanted this to have a modern look and that meant saturation and high contrast, but still stay true to my personal aesthetic. I love the contradiction of a seemingly warm and beautiful day with the horror unfolding as the film escalates. The set was lit almost entirely with Digital Sputnik units to give us complete color control on top of a vast output of light.

The production design was lead by AFI fellow Roxy Hua, who made me repaint my kitchen before transforming it into the cozy and yet sophisticated place it is on film now. One of the trickier set-ups was the “underwater” coverage. I always knew that we had to find a way to film those angles with the Alexa. I didn’t want to cut back and forth between Go-Pro footage and ArriRaw files. Roxy built a prop-sink out of an aquarium that allowed us to get the camera underneath the action and film Marie’s (Dakota Bailey) face through the water as she was struggling to stay alive.

Post-Production was lead by my boyfriend (Omer Ben Shachar), who happens to be a fantastic editor. As a cinematographer, I am usually not involved in that process of filmmaking, so I relied heavily on his insights and ideas to mold this project into the right form.
I am originally from Germany and took Just Married to Hamburg for post-sound. The guys at German Wahnsinn put the last polishing touches on everything last week.